Farming the same land for almost 100 years in California Live Oak Farms understands the importance of soil health and longevity.
Farming the same land for almost 100 years in California Live Oak Farms understands the importance of Soil health and longevity. Crop rotation has long since been a part of our growing program to maintain nutrient rich, soil quality. We use cover crops such as alfalfa and oats along with corn to replenish nutrients back into the soil and reduce the threat of pests and disease allowing us to use lower amounts of pesticides.
Our efforts to sustainability at Live Oak Farms have long been of high value. All Live Oak fields use drip irrigation methods to promote water conservation and improve effective irrigation by delivering water directly to the plant roots. The result is a healthy, prosperous plant while still aggressively conserving water. And, because water is applied only to the root zone, we do not need to rely on herbicides to control weeds.
With our drip irrigation systems we are able to conserve up to 70% more water than with furrow irrigation methods.
Powered by the sun, our solar power endeavors are ongoing. This past 2020 year we finished our 2nd solar installment at Live Oak Farms processing facility, our 3rd solar installment overall. Our first dating back to 2011. This 2021 season we are proud to say that our four processing facilities will be 100% powered by solar energy. In 2016, we also brought a 2,040-panel solar system out to our fields to offset the power needed for irrigation use.
The sustainability gains of the three systems are equal to annually eliminating 15 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere. This is equivalent to 2,314 tons of waste recycled instead of landfilled, 785 homes’ energy use for one year, or 1, 470 cars removed from the road for one year.
FARMING IS A YEAR ROUND PROCCESS
While it takes only about ninety days from the time a tomato or pepper is planted to the first harvest, planning begins many months earlier.
Throughout the three-month growing process, our tomatoes and peppers are monitored to ensure they are a healthy crop that is nutritionally balanced. A healthy crop is better able to fight off disease and pest, but if pests or disease threaten the crop, we turn to the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Programs for fresh tomatoes and peppers, which minimizes pesticide use.